Hydro Rates and Police Tips

Hydro Rates

MPP Michael Prue will be hosting a public meeting tomorrow night (Thursday, Nov. 25th, 7-9 p.m.) to talk about rising hydro rates.  The meeting will happen at 2174 Danforth Ave. at the Danforth Mennonite Church – just east of Woodbine.  For more information contact 416-690-1032 or www.michaelprue.com

Safety Tips From Toronto Police – 55 Division

1. Due to a high number of street robberies, mostly cell phones, in and around local high schools lately, police visibility has been greatly increased. Try and avoid going for a walk around the schools during school hours.
2. Drivers rushing and speeding through cross walks has caused concern with residents and police.  Police coverage is being beefed up at cross walks to encourage drivers to sloooowwww dowwwwn.
3. If you notice anyone texting while driving, write down their license plate number and phone it into the police, 416-808-5500 or 808-5400. These people are still the biggest menace on the roads and they will be ticketed at their front doors if they are reported.
4. Skateboards, like bikes are a vehicle and not allowed on a sidewalk. Skateboarders are to follow the rules of the road. A vehicle and pedestrian blitz one week in November resulted in 571 charges in one week.
5. The RIDE program will be accelerated in the next month though it does exist all year long.
Security Tips
  • Park in well lit areas with pedestrian traffic. Lock your car.
  • Hide valuables in a secure location, out of view of passersby. Even a bag going to Goodwill  is alluring as the contents are unknown to the thief.
  • Do not leave change in the console or within view.
  • Completely close your car windows.
  • Install a safety alarm in your vehicle.
  • Never leave your keys in the vehicle unattended.
  • Have signage located on the car that warns of any deterrents likes alarms.
  • Lock vehicles even if in a locked garage.
  • Keep registration and insurance on your person, not in the car.
  • Have someone shovel your sidewalks when away. You have 24 hours after a snowfall to shovel your walks. Assist the elderly and disabled if they don’t have help.
Crime Prevention Tips
With the change in weather  it is important to remind ourselves and our neighbors of a few crime prevention tips:
  • Lock doors and windows – including garage and sheds.
  • Give your house a lived in look.
  • Don’t put your Christmas presents under the tree that are visible from a front window, especially if visible from the street.
  • Make a home inventory checklist for things of value.




Gledhill Goings On

The Gledhill Family Movie Night is tomorrow (Thursday). They’re showing Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. Doors open at 6 p.m.  Showtime is 6:30 p.m. and it’s 90 minutes long.  The cost is $1 at the door and they’ll be selling popcorn.  All proceeds go to Gledhill’s breakfast program.  This is a family event.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  All families are welcome.

Want to know more about your school’s energy use? On May 25th at 7:30 p.m. Trustee, Sheila Cary-Meagher and Green Globes Energy Specialists are hosting an event that will help schools explore possible renewable energy projects.  The event is at 7:30 p.m. at the Gledhill Public School library.  RSVP to Mary-Margaret McMahon at spargy@rogers.com or 416-693-9276.

This and That

This winter our new Home Hardware worked with the East Toronto Climate Action Group (read Mary Margaret McMahon), to promote energy conservation.  Every week, a new tip to save energy, save pollution, and save you money was displayed on their side window with the particular item that was needed.

It was a win-win-win situation because Home Hardware attracted more customers, ETCAG promoted environmental awareness, and you saved money if you took the advice!

Medical Centre Update

The construction of the new medical centre that will be built on the site of the former O’Connor’s funeral home has been delayed.  The centre, with new family health teams, was originally going to open in July, but the city workers strike last summer set them back several months.  DECA has been working with the developer and the City on such things as lighting in the alley, parking and pot holes in the back lane.  Now the developers are hoping to start demolition soon.  It will take two to three weeks and they’re hoping to have demolition done by the end of May.  Not sure yet, when they are planning to be open for business and taking new patients.

Art of the Danforth Storage

You know the fabulously large corrugated plastic items that are decorating our streets right now (the big flowers, the big horse etc)?  The Art of the Danforth needs a place to store them for a while.  Do you have such a place?  If they can’t find storage, they will have to be melted down – which seems a bit of a shame.  If you can help, contact Cindy at artofthedanforth@artsimperative.ca

Another Green Cafe is happening on Tuesday, May 11 from 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. at 1917 Gerrard St. E. at Glenmore Road.  There will be a free film screening and discussion about climate change, peak oil and challenges in the neighbourhood.  Contact Mary Margaret McMahon for more info or to RSVP at spargy@rogers.com.

Green Is The New Black

Community Clean Up Days

T’is the season for community clean ups.  Me and my brood will be at Earl Beatty.  Where will you be?  (A tidbit from me to you: for my son’s last birthday I bought a few long-handled grabbers at Dollarama that would be ideal for picking up litter if you’d rather not bend up and down endlessly.  The young children found them a little difficult to squeeze -though very appealing- but an older child or adult wouldn’t have any trouble.)

You can usually bring your own gloves (though there are usually some available too).  Bags are supplied.  And – in my experience there are usually some treats for your labour.

Saturday, April 24th

Earl Beatty and surrounding streets- 10 a.m. @ the school (Sponsored by the eco-team, the Earl Beatty Community Centre and the school.)

Danforth Avenue – 10 a.m. @ the Coxwell Parkette at Danforth and Coxwell (Sponosred by the Danforth Mosaic BIA)

Taylor Creek – 11 a.m. @ end of Rexleigh Dr.(sponsored by the Taylor Creek Green Group)

Stan Wadlow Skate Park – 1 p.m. @ skate park (sponsored by Team East York Skateboarders)

Keystone Keeners – The neighbours living on Keystone Ave. are hosting their annual Rally in the Alley to clean up the alley and generally have an excuse for a party.  Guess what?  You could do that too.


Every Saturday in April and May the Ecoartvan will be visiting libraries all over town to offer a free hands-on art and environment education program.  The van will be at the S. Walter Steward Library on Saturday, April 24th from 1 – 4 p.m. (170 Memorial Park Ave. – just north of East York Civic Centre).

Topham 10

The Topham Park EcoTeam is trying to get solar panels installed on 10 homes in Ward 31 (north of Danforth).  With a LiveGreen Toronto grant of $50,000, they can offer about $4,500/home to help reduce the costs.  So far they only have two homes and are looking for eight more.  Contact Neil Rankin to learn more at tophampark@ourpower.ca

DECA Bikes!

Who knew there were so many avid cyclists in the neighoburhood?   Saturday, March 27th was our first ever DECA Bikes Tune-Up workshop. Cyclists learned the tricks of the trade for tuning up their bikes, met with other cyclists, and were treated to bicycle shaped cookies and juice all for the low fee of paying what you can.

We knew it was going to be a great day when there was a queue at 11 am!  THANKS to all our dynamite DECA Bikes members for helping out.

Next Tune Up workshop is Saturday, May 1st 11 am – 4 pm. Contact Jamie Thiers jamiethiers@gmail.com for more information or to join DECA BIKES.

Reskilling – Soap Making

The Reskilling workshops DECA & ETCAG (East Toronto Climate Action Group) have been offering since last July have been going gangbusters!

We had to run four soap making classes to meet the demand of keen, sudsy soap makers.  Thanks to the fabulous Amanda Montgomery (Simply by Amanda) and her protégé Jazzy Joanna for all their knowledge.  Look for their products at Better Bulk.

Stay tuned for a beeswax candle making class and a bread making class.

Transition Towns

The East Toronto Climate Action Group is presenting the movie – ‘Transition Towns’ at Coxwell library this Tuesday, March 23rd.  Doors open at 6:45 and the movie will start at 7:15 sharp.  The film talks about ‘life after oil and building a sustainable community.’

RSVP to Mary Margaret at spargy@rogers.com  416-693-9276

Healing, Helping and Heating

Our thoughts are in Haiti.  Cynthia, a friend of DECA, is coordinating a collection of gently used summer clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, sheets and towels to send to Haiti via the consulate, which is sending containers to Haiti in 2-3 weeks.  Apparently, sleeping bags would be extremely helpful as there are so many people without a bed to sleep in. If you can donate something or want to know more, contact Cynthia at cynthias@rogers.com.  As an aside, I happened to notice when I was on the Red Cross Canada website that you if you enter Amazon.ca via the Red Cross website, a portion of the funds will go to the Red Cross.

Meditation. Here’s a bit of personal information about me.  I’m most certainly not the kind of person who is into meditating…let alone someone who would go out to do it with other people even if you do get to sit on a pretty silk cushion.  However, I did go to a yoga/meditation class called Mama, Get A Grip, (run by a DECA member) because the title seemed to be talking directly to me.  And I gotta say, it was a wonderful way to spend 90 minutes.  I walked out of there feeling like a different person…a better different person. It was quite down to earth.

All of this is to tell you that the same group is offering weekly meditation sessions at the Pape/Danforth library every Sunday from 3:30-4:30 starting this Sunday.  Each class will include instruction on a variety of meditation techniques.  It is suitable for “absolute beginners” or experienced meditators.  Bring your favourite cushion or blanket to sit on.  Or chairs are available in the room. $15  For more info contact Rhondda at smileymadsen@yahoo.ca

Home Heating and Home Hardware.  I notice the new, permanent sign is up at the Home Hardware, just east of Woodbine.  Soon there will be another sign there urging you to take a few simple steps to cut down on your home energy use and your energy bills.  Thanks to Mary Margaret for this bit of winter info.

Get Foamy!  Get a can or two of low-expansion foam, put on a pair of rubber gloves and old clothes, read the directions and seal up those holes. Use a smoking incense stick to check for holes around any pipe, wire or hole that enters or leaves the house, especially in the basement, including plumbing vents, well intake and outdoor pipes, gaps where electrical wiring enters the house, openings around exhaust fans, and gaps at the top of exterior walls.

Caulking and Weather-stripping are Your New Best Friends! Caulk the attic hatch – in some cases, you can reduce your heat loss by five per cent.  Keeps hot, moist air from collecting in the attic and contributing to ice damming too. Imagine leaky doors and windows as holes in your walls.  Caulk and weather-strip them.

Window Dressing – Put heat-sensitive plastic film on drafty windows. Extend the border to outside the window frame to block draft from under the frame.

Down Boy Down – Turn down your thermostat and put on a sweater.  Install a programmable thermostat.  Set it to drop by four degrees C when you’re out or asleep. Such a drop could reduce your bill by 15 per cent.  That will easily pay the cost of the new thermostat.  If you’re on a furnace, especially oil, and haven’t had it cleaned in a few years, make an appointment right away. Again, depending on individual situations, a dirty burner can be costing you an extra 10 per cent.

It’s that Time of the Month – Change your furnace filter every month.  Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of your furnace costing you more money and wasting energy.

Lights, Compact Fluorescents, Action – Invest in compact fluorescent bulbs for your home.  Consider this: replace one 60-watt incandescent bulb with a 15-watt compact fluorescent and save about 570 kilowatt-hours of electricity over the life of the bulb – at Hydro One rural rates of 5.5 cents/kilowatt-hour, that’s approximately $31.35. Invest in LED light bulbs for high-use areas.

Use motion sensors and timers to limit energy use.  Beware of phantom power (when your appliance is plugged in and turned off but still drawing power).  Unplug appliances not in use (microwaves, music boxes, chargers) and put your computers, TVs, modems, tool/game chargers on power bars with timers so they go off when you’re not using them.